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Any idea why shallots are so ruinously expensive?

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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:18 PM
Original message
Any idea why shallots are so ruinously expensive?
and only come in those little net bags? I mean, they look just like garlic or onions, so they can't be that hard to grow, right?

I just made a recipe that called for 1 1/2 lbs of shallots and I could only buy them in little net bags of 3 oz that cost 1.99 each!!! I did it so that I could make the recipe as called for and I have to say I now am a shallot afficiando, but why so pricey?

Does anyone here grow their own?
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. I just got 3 oz. at Trader Joe's for $1.49
Not that much difference but a little less pricey. I've never used them before but am making a recipe tonight that wants them.

I'm going to make overnight Crock Pot beef stew. Would some be good in that?

As for why they're expensive, I don't really know. Because they're French? Or considered fancy-pants?
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's $6 Per Pound
What are they grown in, world champion beagle shit?
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Sorry for late response
if you were making your stew last night, but yes, they would be good in it. I needed them for a Crock Pot Pork Normandy. The recipe called for sauteeing them first in butter and then glazing with balsamic vinagrette before adding to the crockpot. They were totally yummy. Their size is great in a stew and they seemed sweeter than regular onions. Like I said, I would use them a lot more than I have in the past if they weren't so darned pricey.

Maybe if more people try them and like them, that would drive up demand and the price would fall as someone here suggested.

Hope your stew came out good!
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. I love using them, just don't like paying for them
maybe it's time to try growing them.

I imagine the expense is related to supply/demand -- not too many people use them, and so I imagine a lot of them get tossed before they're sold.

Only a WAG :shrug:
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
4. 'Shallots
are propagated by offsets, which, in the Northern Hemisphere are often planted in September or October, but the principal crop should not be planted earlier than February or the beginning of March. In planting, the tops of the bulbs should be kept a little above ground, and it is a commendable plan to draw away the soil surrounding the bulbs when their roots have taken hold. They should not be planted on ground recently manured. They come to maturity about July or August, although they can now be found year-round in supermarkets.

Similar to onions, raw shallots release chemicals that irritate the eye when sliced, resulting in tears. See onion for a discussion of this phenomenon.

Shallots are particularly high in anti-cancer compounds.'


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shallot
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Thanks for the info! nt
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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. Mmmmmm....shallots
My brother-in-law puts in a huge garden every spring - I call him Farmer Jim, he's a total city boy who's fascinated with the whole concept of a garden - and last year he put some shallots in for me.

They were pretty good - just as flavorful but not quite as large as you get in the store. He said they were fairly simple to grow, but deciding when to harvest was a bit of a puzzle for him. Now that he has one shallot crop under his belt I think this year's should be even better.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. they are sold loose at my local Safeway and Krogers
So that's handy. But if you have to buy a little bag and don't need all of them for one recipe, I don't see why you couldn't chop them and freeze in a little container. Onions freeze okay.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Really no need to freeze them.
As long as you keep them in a cool, dry place. I've kept them in my pantry for two weeks or more. I can always find something to put them in later.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
9. Our Safeway sells them for about $3 - $4 a pound, loose. Our Asian grocer sells them for lots less.
I've gotten them as cheap as a buck-anna-half at our Asian grocer. Their produce is always 1/3 to 1/2 what Safeway charges. The selection is huge. The downside is ...... absolutely none of it is as fresh as the Safeway. This matters on some stuff, but not so much on other stuff.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. I rarely use them
because I find the flavor to be unworthy of the cash layout. Plus, they're a pain in the ass to peel and chop.

I just substitute a little very finely minced mild white or sweet yellow onion, about a heaping tablespoon for each shallot.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Really?
Coz I enjoy the flavor of them over a regular onion. I especially dislike white onions.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Then by all means continue paying the tab.
I've always called shallots "onions for people who don't like onions."

I guess you just proved my point. :hi:
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I do like onions.
Edited on Mon Mar-17-08 07:39 PM by hippywife
I like the sweet yellow ones and the red ones. Just not the white ones. :hi:

Seriously, tho, there are some recipes that the onion sub just wouldn't work for. Like that incredible savory cheesecake someone posted here a while back. It was awesome!
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. I'm not crazy about the flavor or the smell. And I don't know
why. I'm crazy for garlic, onions and I grow tons of leeks which I use in almost everything. But I don't like the taste or the smell of shallots.
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